Trump Sits in the Witness Chair and Talks a Lot

Trump “testified” today, and according to the reviews it must have been a mess.

Aaron Blake at WaPo has three early takeaways. No paywall; just read it. In brief, Trump ignored questions and just delivered a diatribe about how unfair the whole things is. He probably lied quite a bit. And he basically served notice that he will continue to try to bulldoze the legal process.

At Politico, see Trump, on witness stand, derides judge, denies fraud and talks of castles and windmills. Do read all of that one, too. Here’s just a snip:

Asked to name properties he believed were over- or under-valued, for example, Trump responded by saying his Trump Tower triplex apartment had likely been overvalued, then launched into a soliloquy about brand value.

During one heated exchange, Trump attorney Alina Habba snapped at the judge, telling him: “You are here to hear what he has to say.”

Engoron shouted in response, commanding her to “sit down.”

“No, I am not here to hear what he has to say!” he yelled. “I am here to hear him answer questions.”

From the witness stand, Trump interjected, leaning into the microphone: “This is a very unfair trial — very, very — and I hope the public is watching.”

Also, too.

At times, Trump sprinkled his testimony with some of the signature subjects and phrases likely familiar to anyone who has observed one of his political rallies.

“I’m not a windmill person,” he said at one point.

“I have a castle,” he said at another.

Of his golf course in Aberdeen, Scotland, he said: “At some point, maybe in my very old age, I’ll go there and do the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen.”

You can read through the blow-by-blow account at the New York Times here. No paywall.

I’m sure there will be more commentary later. Ivanka will testify Wednesday.

Update: Jack Smith ain’t kidding around. See Josh Kovensky at TPM. 

Special Counsel Jack Smith hit back at Donald Trump’s attempt to have the Jan. 6 case against him dismissed in a stark Monday reply, characterizing the former president as committing crimes without parallel in American history.

Smith is trying to persuade U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan for the District of Columbia to allow the Jan. 6 prosecution to go forward. Trump filed motions to dismiss last month in which he asked Chutkan to toss the case.

Trump argued in part in the briefs, and more broadly in public in the years since the Capitol insurrection, that his behavior in 2020 was nothing out of the ordinary. All he was doing, Trump has argued, was questioning the election results, a right granted to him under the Constitution.

“But the defendant stands alone in American history for his alleged crimes,” Smith shot back in the filing. “No other president has engaged in conspiracy and obstruction to overturn valid election results and illegitimately retain power.”

Well, yeah.